Show Review: Desaparecidos @ Mohawk (10.30)

I’ll be honest right here. I went to catch Desaparecidos out of nostalgia, which I think was probably the case for a lot of people.  When I left, however, I felt something different.  Aside from my ears ringing, I sort of felt bad. 

You can read on for my comments and see Brian’s photos from the pit.

Texas band Purple opened up the night, all of us hoping the rain wouldn’t fall too hard.  What we did get from the band was quite unexpected, with the group banging out these incredibly tight bits of punk fury…I didn’t expect that from Beaumont (no offense).  Drummer Hanna Brewer put in an excellent set behind the kit, all the while adding her role as one of the group’s primary vocalist.  Definitely something rad in the East Texas water these days.

Then on came So-So Glos, who’ve built an incredible name for themselves following all their DIY efforts in their hometown of Brooklyn (they’re residents, not transplants). I’ve really enjoyed their album Blowout, which has seen a wider release this week.  Live, they’re definitely worth catching, operating with a sense of energy that’s surely aided in their continual growth.  For those in attendance for Conor Oberst, they also saw Conor join the band on stage for a song.  It might not seem like  much, but a stamp from Conor definitely can’t hurt your popularity.  I have a great deal of respect for these guys, after seeing them on several occasions…they always entertain.

I don’t really know where to begin or end with my thoughts on Desaparecidos, so excuse me if this review ends up being disjointed in any fashion.  Musically, the show was pretty great all around.  Opening acts definitely kept up with the headlining act, and those of us looking to hear our favorites from Read Music/Speak Spanish definitely got our fill…they even threw in newer tunes from their recent revival.  Denver seemed happy, Conor was energetic. The crowd was ecstatic. Waves of late 20 somethings and beyond moshed like we haven’t done in years…or maybe that’s just me.

That sort of brings me to my real reflection of the night. This might just be me, and I apologize for that, but I left wondering if other people thought the same way.  I compare my life now with my life when I first encountered the band; I’m much more complacent. I’m a teacher by day, and I still feel like I’m doing something to better the world, but I’m not as angry and involved as I once was.  Sure, I feel like I support the right causes, and hate the wrong ones, but I do it from afar now.  Obama won, I felt like progress was being made, but Conor reminded me that I was wrong. 

My complacency is in part because I’ve grown my interests, but also because the music I’ve been jamming to seems to have distanced itself from large political statements  We’re in love with dancing and bedroom recordings and partying, but we once seemed to have a united voice.  We once operated as this huge rock n’ roll community.  I remember when GW ran for re-election, tons of these musicians were writing music against him, writing music for freedom.  8 years later we stopped. And now, there’s two great things affecting us, in my opinion. One, we’re still operating in this me-first world. What affects me? What affects my money? Etc. Also, there’s a huge rift between opposing sides; there’s just no conversation.  I’m not saying anyone is on the wrong or right side, just that we’re seemingly becoming a country that doesn’t care about our country.  We’re afraid of emotions/feelings. We want your kids to be emotionally happy, to grow into happy human beings.  We’re more worried about that than creating good human beings, as long as they’re happy and entitled.  How does any of this relate to Desaparecidos?

Well, it made me think.  I got to at least one show a week, if not more.  I know there are still political bands, but there was a time and a place when Desaparecidos did really matter…they did really have something important to say.  Those times are returning it seems, and as I left last night, and listened through my ringing ears today, I realize that they have always mattered, and that perhaps I was the one that last my way.  I aim to rectify that, so thanks guys for the much needed kick in the ass, musically and mentally.

There are a few more pics at the photo site

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